Cidre Normandie

After my thrilling experience with prosecco cocktails (here the first), I’ve turned to another fruit-based sparkling low-alcohol drink. Cider isn’t as popular as sparkling wine at least as a cocktail component.

There were some recipes but I had my doubts about mulled cider or shaken cocktails with cider included. So my cocktail was Champagne-based drink with calvados. Usually I substituted prosecco for Champagne therefore I didn’t hesitate to mix calvados with cider instead of  prosecco.

So Champagne Normandie has turned to Cidre Normandie.

For the first time I’ve used English dry cider. I like it to drink neat and often prefer it to beer especially in summer.

My Cidre Normandie looks like a free variation of Champagne Cocktail.

Cidre Normandie

  • 30 ml calvados (Pacory Three Star Calvados),
  • 1 dash Angostura aromatic bitters,
  • ~60 ml English dry cider.

Combine bitters and calvados in a glass, top with chilled cider and stir carefully. No garnish needed.

Cidre Normandie

The sip starts with cider flavour – dry taste of fermented apples. It was very strong, powerful, even sharp, and carbonation partially increased this sharpness.

On the palate dry flavour got some bitter notes just like apple seeds or apple peel, and on the swallow there was light hint of apple juice, a bit sour and very pleasant. At the same time dry background kept its strength, and behind it some sweet and spicy notes of apple jam comes closer as well as cardamom and nutmeg hints.

Aftertaste brought the same dryness, and there also were cider freshness and calvados sweet note.

Actually I’ve got good dry cocktail, simple in structure and with decent depth in taste. Also dryness adds pleasant  lightness to the cocktail.

Later I’ve tried French dry cider. It was appreciably sweeter, its flavour profile was closer to my young calvados. With this cider, I decided to give a try to Benedictine which I regarded as bitters substitute in this cocktail.

Cidre Normandie #2

  • 30 ml calvados (Pacory Three Star Calvados),
  • 2 dash Benedictine,
  • ~60 ml French dry cider.

Build calvados and liqueur in a champagne flute. Top with chilled cider, stir carefully.

Definitely it’s a different cocktail. This version is sweeter, deeper and subjectively stronger. Benedictine adds depth with its light sweetness, soften the taste largely.

Bittersweet flavour replaces dry taste so calvados is everywhere backed with strong tone of fermented apples from the cider and with delicate spiciness from the liqueur.

Of course, lack of dryness results in heavier taste but I think it’s a matter of habit. Natural apple flavour is in both versions so every person can choose a cocktail to his own taste.